To help the electrode to adhere, first of all, clean and dry your skin using regular soap and water, but do not use alcohol. Alcohol will dry your skin and may increase irritation with the use of electrodes.
After removing the electrode, try using aloe vera gel on your skin to help with sensitivity.
If the pad feels “mushy” it has absorbed moisture from your body, and after cleaning, let it dry a little before storing in the plastic pouch (this happens frequently in hot, humid weather). This over-saturation will cause the electrode to come apart. If it gets too dry and not tacky, rub a couple drops of water on the pad.
Using any gel or lotion before putting the electrode on will only reduce its adherence, thus you would feel like you would need tape, etc.
If you do encounter skin sensitivity, avoid placing electrodes in the same place until the skin heals.
Turning on your TENS too high or leaving it on for too long can result in over-stimulation and may cause skin problems. Try using Hypo Allergenic or Latex Free electrodes. There are so many variables with each person that it seems to be “trial and error” in many instances. There is not one electrode that’s perfect for everyone because of differences in everyone’s skin and body.
If irritation still occurs, discontinue use and consult your health care advisor.
For conductivity and adherence, the best thing you can do is to keep the electrode clean and keep yourself well-hydrated.